I miss hearing the call to prayer before sunrise every morning, the sunshine and the small winding roads in the old city. But I don't miss the olives for breakfast. See my blog entry
The cruise from Stockholm was the highlight. Breathtaking, really. We found Helsinki to be down-to-earth, friendly and a just-right size. See my blog entry
Why on Earth did it take me so long to visit London?! Rivals Paris for best city in Europe. Avoid Oxford Street and Covent Garden, and head to Chelsea and Holborn. See my blog entry
It was my third trip to Paris, but our first while living in Sweden. And, more significantly, our first with a baby in tow. Metro ≠ baby friendly. Centre Pompidou = 10x more fun with a little one. See my blog entry.
bergen and oslo, norway
Think Colorado. Flooded. Oslo is a refreshing little city and the fjords offered beautiful views in all directions. Not love, love. But definitely like, like. See my blog entry.
prague, czech republic
Yes, it has beautiful architecture. But no soul. Skip it and go to Budapest instead.
We only spent a night here, but I could tell immediately that this was a city I could live in. Hope we can get back there sometime soon. Loved the new architecture, friendly people and the gigantic, wooded park.
A great place to relax, see endless fields of daisies, drink sangria and be surrounded by the smell of orange blossoms. See my blog entry.
amsterdam and delft
Amsterdam was one of our favorite European cities and Delft is a little gem you wish you could fit in your pocket and take home. Loved the individual style and easy-going nature of the people. See my blog entry.
Hurry, it's already been discovered. Wonderful cheap food and an outdoorsy mentality. See my blog entry.
Reminds us of home. Really relaxing and laid back. See my blog entry.
hong kong and tai pei
Super friendly people and so romantic. See my blog entry.
Loved Villefranche and the whole area east of Nice. See my blog entry.
Loved the tapas and eating paella on the beach. See my blog entry.
In November 2005, my husband and I moved to Älmhult, Sweden, for my dream job. Five years later, our little family of three moved back. Except, back turned out to be a brand new place called Portland.
We all got our silly on in Walla Walla, Washington. The inspiration for our spontaneous 4-hour road trip was a perfect storm of 17-year anniversary (of our first date), sunny weather and just wanting to go to a place called Walla Walla. It helped that it's been named one of the best small towns in America.
Oh, and it just so happened that Kyle MacLachlan (Desperate Housewives, Sex and the City, Twin Peaks and Portlandia) was pouring his wine, Pursued by Bear, at the Walla Walla Spring Release wine tasting. With about 100 wineries in the region, this is like the Napa Valley of Washington State. I've never been to a wine tasting, but meeting the mayor of Portlandia was a good enough reason to go to my first one!
Besides tasting wines and visiting the farmers' market, there wasn't much else to do in Walla Walla. So we decided to cancel our hotel reservation and keep the adventure going by driving 45 minutes to Pendleton, Oregon. Pendleton is known for two things: awesome blankets and a big-time rodeo, the Pendleton Round-Up. Oh my gosh, this cowtown sure was cute, and we definitely want to come back for the rodeo in September.
I'll gladly do that drive along the Columbia River Gorge while Googling Lewis and Clark history on my iPad any day.
... and lazier in Portland, because apparently it now takes me a pathetic 3 weeks to post vacation pictures.
We spent Easter in South Carolina at my parents', with my sister, brother, brother in law, niece and nephews.
The cousins had a blast. Within 10 seconds, Sophie just folded into the crew, and they were off and running for the week. Well, until Sophie was sidelined by a fever that knocked her out for half the trip. I felt so bad for her. She didn't even want to hunt for Easter eggs or visit with the Easter bunny.
The weather was pretty great. But my favorite moment of the trip came when we were rained on at the beach and had to make an early departure. Once home, the kids each grabbed a horse and were playing some interactive, imaginitive game. It was just so nice to see Sophie, Will, Sam and Drew playing together like that. Like kids. Not toddlers. Nobody ganged up on anyone. Nobody needed a time-out. It was pouring rain outside but they could not have cared less. While I'm glad the stormy weather was short-lived, I could have lived in that moment for a while. If only Sophie was able to see her cousins more than once a year.
This year, Mathis was definitely the VIP of the reunion. His cousins were so sweet to him and completely captivated by him. No doubt he'll be chasing after them next year.